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Oddly enough, this is the first black metal band (at least to my current knowledge) that I've discovered from Serbia. The genre itself is not immensely popular in that region's music scene; however, the acts that do reside there--the ones that are few and far in between-- are surprising to listen to and to say the least. The Stone are a three-piece Slavic pagan blackened metal act whose career spawned well over twenty years ago in 1996. The Belgrade-based band currently has eight full-length albums under its belt, with today's release being their latest effort.
The newest full-length release by The Stone, titled Teatar Apsurda, is a black metal opus comprised of 48 minutes of blast beat drumming patterns, high-pitched trademark genre vocals, a wide variety of ambient, melodic, and shredding guitar riffs, and much more. The album consists of seven tracks; each one clocking in at six to eight minutes in length. The musicianship is definitely all there, along with the themes, lyricism, instrumentals, and atmosphere that come together in order to make this an enjoyable low-fi/kvlt experience.
Personally, the strongest aspects of this album are the atmosphere and energetic instrumentals, combined with the overall vibes and themes that accompany the music. The elements of paganism, the Occult, death, Nihilism & misanthropy make a much-needed return for this composition. The enthusiasm in the vocals also acts as another addition to the overall old-school feel of this album. The guitar riffs are eclectic and they're all there, never letting up or stopping. Drum quality works for what it's worth, and the melodic or atmospheric sections that are thrown in between the fast riffage are a nice touch. The album is consistent and well structured, with a number of transitions that are surprising and entertaining to hear.
Just a few little nitpicks to bring up about Teatar Apsurda. First off, the vocals, while strong, are either a bit underused or overshadowed too much by the other instruments at times throughout this release. The volume or production quality could've been turned up or adjusted in that regard. The other main thing is that the solo/high note guitar line sections could've been used a bit more here and there to add to the overall aura and melodic feel.
In all, The Stone's latest album is a fast-paced, heavy, black as heck kvlt, entertainingly enthusiastic low-fi offering for the longtime niche genre crowd. While it does not give way to much of bringing something new to the table or innovation, the overall atmosphere, nostalgic black metal vibes, energy and very solid musicianship still culminate into creating a very decent album that is strong in many regards. It's a recommended listen to those who enjoy and follow the low-fi "kvlt" sound and subculture.
Fave Tracks: 'Moj Grob', 'Ja, car i bog'
Review by: Dave Raffy
-Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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